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Topic: personal water use


Module Six Investigative Activity: Personal Water Use

Those of us in the developed world don’t think much about water. Clean, drinkable water is delivered into your residence almost invisibly, and it’s always there when you turn on a faucet. Consequently, most North Americans don’t see the need for water conservation, particularly those who live in areas where freshwater supplies are abundant. But as populations grow, more pressure is being brought upon rivers, reservoirs, and groundwater aquifers and the need for conservation has become universal. These efforts are particularly crucial in areas with arid climates, low water supplies, and/or frequent droughts.

Water has a variety of uses in the developed world. It is used in large quantities in agriculture and livestock production, to generate electricity in thermoelectric power plants, and in numerous industrial processes. Another major category is municipal water use, the use of water in homes and businesses. Agricultural irrigation and thermoelectric power generation also use a great deal of water. While you cannot reasonably control the amount of water used to grow your food or generate your electricity, you can exert control over your personal water use and affect the quantity used for municipal supply.


From the introduction and previous activities, you should now have a good idea of the ways you use water in your daily life, and some simple steps you could take to reduce your overall water use. In this activity, you will be asked to examine your current water use and then examine several lifestyle changes that could reduce your overall water usage. To do this you’ll be using an online water calculator that asks you to provide information about water-using activities and then calculates your overall water use. The calculator is here: http://www.watercalculator.org/ (Links to an external site.)

Upon completion of the calculator answer these questions and submit as a WORD-readable document:

1. What was your total water usage and how did this compare to the U.S. average?

2. What were your three top uses of water?

3. For each of those uses, what were the suggestions for reduction?

Now go to this page for some comparisons to other nations: https://www.statista.com/statistics/263156/water-consumption-in-selected-countries/ (Links to an external site.) Expand the graph to show more nations. NOTE: To convert other nations’ data to gallons per day, divide the number by .72.

4. Propose reasons for why your usage differs from per capita usage in Germany (similar standard of living) and in Mexico (lower standard of living)?

Submit your questions and answers as a WORD-readable document using the assignment submission link.


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